Sou have something of Asterix and Obelix, and if you put them next to each other, there is a certain comedy about it. Because both the Smart Brabus Ultimate E and the Mercedes EQC 4 × 42 are overdrawn like cartoon characters. And they both look like they’ve got a little too much of that magic potion that electrifies the mobility of tomorrow. Because the current has to be quite strong and blow some fuses before two such electric cars make it onto the road: Because the chubby, poisonous dwarf who defiantly wants to mess with every sports car, and here the SUV, which is even proud of it, being a bastard – this is how the two mark the current extremes in the electric EQ fleet and prove that electric mobility is slowly becoming commonplace when even the tuners and converters are interested in it.
Attract attention at all costs and prove what is possible thanks to or despite the new drive technology – the motives of the makers are similar, but the two electric extremists differ significantly in their choice of means. For example, Brabus pulled out the classic stops with the Ultimate and put the freshly relaunched Smart Convertible in a wild battle suit with massive bumpers and wide fenders, with forged 18-inch wheels and the interior with lots of hand-sewn leather on disdainful plastic finally that charm and Missed the chic that you can expect from a bonsai if a Benz is behind it.
Only in terms of the drive system did they do relatively little in Bottrop. Not that they didn’t want to. But because the electric ones are harder and, above all, more expensive to tune than gasoline engines, it was only enough for a small blob instead of a full supplement: the electric motor now has 68 instead of 60 kW, the maximum torque increases from 160 to 180 Nm. And the top speed of 130 km / h even remains unchanged. The fact that the Smart still feels as if it were on steroids is due to the sharpened course of the torque curve and the greed of the accelerator, which makes the tiny thing a real poison dwarf, so wildly scurrying through the city.
The Mercedes developers have also kept their hands off the drive of the EQC. But to do this, they screwed two portal axles under the belly of the GLC’s electric offshoot, just like the Unimog has. Because, thanks to the additional gears on the wheel drive, the center of the axle is a good bit higher and because, on top of that, coarse-tread off-road tires turn under the striking flared fenders, the EQC 4 × 42 drives like on stilts, wallows in the mud like a wild boar and has better characteristics on the terrain than a G-Class: 29 centimeters of ground clearance, 40 centimeters of fording depth and angle of departure of 31.8 and 33 degrees turned the SUV for everyday life in the city’s suburbs into an off-road vehicle for adventures in the steppe – if only there were charging stations for the battery With an energy content of 80 kWh, which does not bring the two engines with 150 kW output in difficult terrain 150 kilometers. No wonder that the test drivers’ excursions have so far been limited to gravel pits and a few alpine gravel roads very close to the edge of civilization.
Brabus only builds 28 Ultimate E, and the price of around 57,000 euros is almost something prohibitive. But the tuner has something ahead of the manufacturer. Because the EQC 4 × 42 will not be available to buy for money and good words, the developers assure. Where they usually like to stir up at least a little hope, this time their answers don’t leave the slightest room for interpretation. And yet the Bigfoot with battery is more than just a finger exercise and at least serves one purpose internally: it paves the way for the electric G-Class, which company boss Ola Källenius has just promised again. And until that comes, there might be a couple of sockets in the steppe.